The quiet after the storm

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I haven’t written an update in awhile in regards to the situation with my father, so decided to let you know what has been happening whilst I have a lazy day in bed..

So far, so good..No more contact, no more phonecalls and no more letters.

Maybe my father has finally got the message that I no longer want a relationship with him..

This is very good..It’s good for my sanity, it’s good for my healing and it’s good for my grieving..

I am hoping that the current quiet time stays that way..

At the end of the month I am bravely heading to Edinburgh to stay with my mother, after almost 2 years of not visiting her at her home. She has just recently moved there from West Sussex, so I thought it could be a new opportunity to be civil but mostly to see my grandmother and the rest of my family..

Through therapy, I decided that I was strong enough and wise enough to continue a relationship with my narcissistic mother, mainly because I didn’t want to lose contact with the rest of my family, especially my cousins.

With my mother, although things aren’t ideal as she still remains a covert narcissist with histrionic traits, I am better equipped to put up with her dysfunction..I am very good at just observing her and don’t allow what she says anymore to affect me..I don’t need her..I don’t value what she says and I see her as this lost child..I have good boundaries and keep repeating the same words when she starts pushing..

If she were to die tomorrow, I wouldn’t be devastasted..This probably may sound harsh to some of you but I have already spent years grieving the mother I didn’t have..

I have already grieved the lack of a healthy mother and I have already grieved the fact that I wasn’t able to find true comfort & empathy in her.

Through my life, I have found warmth in other older women: great aunts, mothers of certain friends etc. I have felt true warmth and empathy in women I unfortunately don’t see very often, due to circumstance and distance. I have found real empathy and love in my hubby and in my friends..

My mother feels more like a needy acquaintance, like a dysfunctional therapy project, which I observe and just write notes on..When you are dealing with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder, you have to learn to distance yourself emotionally..I have definetely managed to do this very well.

It is sad to say this, but unfortunately it is the reality of how I feel..

My brother on the other hand doesn’t want to see her or speak to her at all..He is happiest away from her..It is more complicated for him to speak to her in a careful way, due to his special needs..He thinks like a child in so many ways but understands very deeply that she is dangerous for him..He hasn’t grieved her, as he doesn’t have the capacity to understand his need to grieve for her. He is mostly just angry and very protective of himself which is ok..

I am grateful I have gone through so much recovery and have come out the other side..

Although things have been tough, I am definetely feeling a lot more comfortable in my life..

When I fly to Edinburgh it is actually on Mother’s day! I had no idea when I booked the flights and it is kinda ironic really!

The good thing when I arrive is that I will go straight to my Grandmother’s house and that makes me feel much more comfortable. I don’t get to see her very often but she definetely bears no resemblance to my mother’s ways. My grandmother is cuddly and affectionate and very giving whenever I am with her..It has always made me wonder how on earth my mother turned out so sick. My Grandmother is 92 this year so it has been on my mind to visit her for awhile.

Now that I will no longer be going to Athens as much, due to the situation with my father, trips to Scotland will hopefully become a little more frequent.

Yesterday was a suprisingly good day for me. I had my first day as a part-time nanny for a Greek/German family that live reasonably close to me and it was such a joy to be helping out a truly wonderful mum. Her empathy & love for her children radiated. Her 3 kids were so well behaved and happy. Her husband was supportive and loving.

A new part-time job is just what I need at the moment, to keep me busy when I am not coaching or making youtube videos..I do love kids and always feel so protective towards them due to my background..Even though hubby and I have said we don’t want kids due to my CPTSD, I will always very much enjoy looking after them and protecting them. Maybe one day we can foster children. That is definetely something that I could see myself doing.

Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

 

 

Return to sender

It will be a week tomorrow since I posted my last letter to my father. Although I have no idea when and if my letter to him arrived, his secretary who is also a friend, told me he has already sent me a reply.

I promised myself last week that if I received another letter from him, I would send it back unopened.

In all honesty I am contemplating reading it..

Just to see what crazy stuff he has come up with this time..

Or to see his reaction to my farewell letter…

or to see if he is making any threats about lawyers (which I am worried about).

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I am fully aware that by reading his letter again, I will be affected mentally and physically..

That it won’t give me closure and that I can’t trust anything he says as the truth..

That he won’t say anything remotely empathetic or loving and that I will once again be crushed..

So why do it to myself? Why cause myself more pain? Haven’t I had enough already?

It’s going to take a lot of strength to not open it, as I keep wondering whether I will regret it if I don’t read it..

The reality however is that I can’t unread a letter..Once I read it, the words get stuck in my head..

So returning it unopened and unread sends a powerful message..Even more so than asking him not to contact me again..

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Family photos don’t show the truth

Trigger alert *****

Last night I had a gruesome nightmare..I felt incredibly guilty because I took part in covering up a murder of a young woman and knowing that her body was dismembered.I have no idea how she died and why. My father was also in the dream although I don’t remember the details of why he was in it either. All I remember vividly is that I was on the run and was trying to stay hidden and safe..I felt scared and I felt guilty..

It was a very dark and unsettling dream..I am pretty sure it is symbolic of what I am going through right now, with the projected guilt I am feeling of cutting ties with him..

I hope I can stay strong and protect myself..

I just want it to finally be over..

Love Athina ♥

The letter

Following from my last post ‘The end of a chapter’, I decided that the only way to stop the phone-calls that my father keeps making to me is to actually tell him that I no longer want any contact.

I never explicitly told him this when we had our fall out. Once he gave me the silent treatment for a year and ignored me coldly when I visited his office, I decided that the only way to protect myself from further emotional distress , was to just not communicate with him.

Unfortunately, after he was over his ‘narcissistic strop’, he started calling me again, the day after my birthday. He has been making many attempts to re-connect with me by phone but has not once apologised for his behaviour or for the harm he caused me.

Now that I finally let go of the flat that we used in Greece, it felt only natural to inform him of this new development and to make sure that he knows that the responsibility for the flat is back with him. It was always in his name, yet he neglected to pay the bills and maintenance costs. Hubby and I were stuck with them and had to pay them yearly.

In my letter to him, I informed him that we have vacated the flat and that a friend of mine will drop off the key at his office. I informed him that he is responsible for paying the 200euro of maintenance costs and that we have informed the person in charge. I have informed him that I no longer feel comfortable using this flat, due to the current circumstances of our relationship.

The most important thing in this letter however, is the fact that I have finally informed him of my ‘terms & boundaries’. I have clearly stated that I do not use my phone anymore and that I do not see the point of re-connecting with him. I told him that I have had enough disappointment in my life in regards to his behaviour towards me. That I will not tolerate a relationship with a father, who is dysfunctional, controlling & a pathological liar. That I will not tolerate a relationship with a father who is also completely controlled by his malignant wife and who has poisoned him against everybody that truly care for him.

I have told him that if he had truly wanted a relationship with me, he would have told his wife that his relationship with me is important.He would have told his wife that he wanted to visit me in Germany all these years, instead of not doing it because she wouldn’t allow it. He would have used his wealth, to spend quality time with his children and treat everyone fairly. He would have explained to his wife that his children are important to him.

Instead, he allowed her to control him and I missed out on 18 years of a ‘normal’ relationship with my father.

Instead, he allowed her to threaten me. Instead he allowed her to talk badly of me.

Instead, he was abusive to her and his children, which in return made her abusive towards him.

Instead, he attempted to take his own life because of the pressure she had put on him financially.

Instead, he still returned to her and lives under her rules, her control and her nastiness.

Instead, he continues to neglect himself, his health, his children, his colleagues and obsesses constantly about money.

In my letter to him I stated that I deserve to have a father who doesn’t have to lie to spend time with me. I stated that on my wedding day, I deserved to have a Dad that was there completely and not a Dad who was freaking out because he had hadn’t told his wife it was my wedding day. I deserved a Dad that wasn’t hiding and worrying throughout the wedding meal.

I stated that I have done nothing but support him all these years and yet he hasn’t been able to put the effort in when it has mattered.

In the last few lines of this letter, I expressed my gratitude for the good memories I have with him and I wished him well.

This was my farewell letter.

I have told him not to contact me by phone anymore.

I am now patiently awaiting the arrival of this letter, so my friend can hand over the key to him. It was sent registered, so I am able to see when he receives it.

If he does not stop calling me then I will cancel my phone contract as a last resort.

This letter wasn’t easy..This letter was discussed with my therapist. By writing a letter however, I am better able to be in control.

I am not expecting a normal response.

I am hoping that it brings an end to the current situation of uncomfortable voicemails.

Thanks for reading

Athina ♥

The black hole..

I am struggling today..

My father made contact again..I am right on the edge of replying to my father’s messages..phonecalls..just to make them stop! ..I know that won’t happen though…

I don’t want to be sucked into the black hole again..People with NPD do that..They are very good at sucking you back in…Whether it is soppy messages, guilt-trips, the silent treatment etc….I can’t forget this..

My father has NPD and doesn’t see the world the same way I do..

His voicemails were full of complaints..

First voicemail:

”Not even a call for Happy New Year? One day when you have children of your own, you will know that the love of a parent for their child never goes away, no matter what”..

Second voicemail:

”You can see that it is me calling you and yet you continue to ignore my calls. All I wanted was for you to be happy.Wishing you all the best. That’s it from me”

Third call and no voicemail..

His voicemails sound like a cry for attention..His voicemails make ME sound like the heartless daughter who will not respond…

This isn’t so however..

He gave me the silent treatment for nearly a year..and then suddenly decided to make contact again…He ignored my attempts to make contact and he ignored me when I stood in front of him, which hurt like hell..

He is the one who attempted suicide as a way of controlling his wife…He is the one who always chose his NPD wife over his own daughter for the last 12 years…He is the one that didn’t want to make changes in his behaviour and is aware he is treating people badly.He is the one that hired a lawyer against me to return his money..that threatened to kill himself again because I wasn’t doing what he wanted..that hurt me over and over and over again..that abandoned me over and over again..

So why the hell do I feel like a heartless daughter because I wont pick up the phone??!

The biggest difference between the two of us is that he lacks empathy and I don’t ..

I feel absolutely everything & it is exhausting..I feel his pain, I feel his desperation but I know I must continue to keep my distance..

I never explicitly told him that I don’t want any contact anymore, because it was too destructive for my mental health to get back into a conversation with him..

Since he won’t stop making attempts to get back in touch with me, I am starting to realise that he just isn’t getting the message.

I have decided to write him a letter..In this letter I will tell him what my terms are in regards to having contact, if at all..

In this way I don’t have to ‘talk to him’, as talking to him means more drama, more guilt tripping, etc…Every time he calls and leaves a message it unsettles me greatly..

I love him despite everything..I just can’t help that..

It has been an emotional evening and an unsettling start to this week..

On the bright side, I woke up to a snowy Germany today..♥

Love to you all ♥

Athina

Ritual abuse survivors are heroes

∗∗Possibly triggering ∗∗

Before starting this blog and my own journey of healing from child abuse, I had never come across Ritual abuse..I never knew there was such evil in this world..I knew about psychopaths and narcissists..I knew about some of the awful things that have happened to children who have suffered abuse.I know there are many paedophiles out there who live out their sick fantasies without any care for the long-lasting, life-altering effects on their victims.

The physical, emotional & sexual suffering that a lot of child abuse survivors have endured are known to many. Unfortunately, amongst those many people that have knowledge of this, nothing has been done..This is sad & unfair..

I actually felt guilty that I never knew about ritual abuse..This is something that people need to know about..It is despicable and incomprehensible to me that there are so many sick people out there that cause so much harm. No matter what someone feels or what perversions they may have, they are ultimately the ones that can stop their impulses to harm.

I have met many incredibly brave & awe inspiring survivors of this sort of abuse, who I have the privilege of calling my friends.I will soon be reading their memoirs and although it is very tough to read details of this sort of abuse, it is important to allow these brave survivors to tell their story. It is healing & it is necessary.

For those of you out there, who have experienced this sort of abuse, you are always welcome here. You an inspiration to me.

Much Love Athina ♥♥

 

Hello Anxiety my worried friend..

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I am nearly ready for my trip to London and an unexpected wave of anxiety just hit me, making my hands clammy, my head feel lightheaded and my breathing shallow, as you would naturally expect.

Usually the first thought when anxiety hits us is ‘Oh no!!’, it’s back again…

I won’t lie to you..It’s never fun at the beginning but I know better than to let it overcome me…I know myself..I know my triggers..Travelling (especially flying), leaving my comfort zone (home) and the fact that I will be meeting my mother tomorrow, for the first time since December..Things are generally easier with her, as I no longer miss her or need her..I grieved my losses..I just think of her as visiting a needy, overly-dramatic friend..I know how to set boundaries..I have always managed our conversations over the phone, mostly with ease..Face to face is different however..She is observing me, my sensitivities, my reactions etc..as she always did…seeing whether I will be affected by her manipulations..her drama..We are luckily only meeting for a couple of hours for lunch, after I have seen my brother..He will be escaping the minute she arrives.. 🙂 Good for him!

When we meet, she will be bringing one of our much loved paintings with her, which I am really looking forward to. Hubby and I bought it when we lived in Cornwall before we moved away..We ended up leaving it with her before moving to Germany, as we didn’t want it to get damaged. Now I will have to figure out a way to bring it home!

 

In general I know how to manage my anxiety..breathe and accept it..don’t fight it..So I talk to it..Like it is a worried friend..I say ‘Hey Anxiety, I see you are back..that’s ok..it makes sense you are here..but we will deal with this together..’

I also know that any bilateral stimulation also helps..Walking, typing whilst I write this blog post..and tapping..

My flight isn’t boarding until 19:15 and I have to get a tram, then bus to the airport..Once I manage the first part of the journey, I will definetely feel more relaxed. I always do.

Then it’s just waiting around..

I am looking forward to seeing my cousin who is in her early twenties and seeing her family’s flat in London, with a beautiful view of the Thames..It’s been so many years!

Since the topic of this post is about anxiety, how do you cope with it?

Do you have soothing skills in place? Do you observe your thinking and try to think more positively? Do you have things with you that comfort you?For me, I always have a bottle of water(for my dry mouth), my mp3 player (to block out noise) and chewing gum.

Lots of love Athina ♥♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Run.Rabbit.Run.Ptsd award

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My dearest friend Lottie started this Run.Rabbit.Run.PTSD award

The wonderful https://theblackwallblog.wordpress.com/ nominated me for this award and I am really grateful. Both bloggers are remarkable writers in their own right.

Please check out their blogs as listed above.

Thank you  for considering me for this award, that previously was known as the Blogger Recognition Award.


The rules:

Thank the blog who nominated you, share the link and award on your blog.

Write a brief story on how you started blogging and

any advice you would give to a new blogger.

Select nominees (max 15)

Advise nominees.

I started blogging over a year ago now, as a way to heal from the discovery that both my parents have narcissistic personality disorder. It was a very painful time for me, as my father had just attempted suicide, so I was suffering with really bad ptsd. Since then I have shared my experiences, courage & hope in my journey of grieving the healthy parents I never had and growing in confidence & self-compassion.

I have since qualified as a life coach, specialising in supporting others in their journey of healing from narcissistic abuse and try to be a mental health advocate for Complex PTSD in particular and reducing the stigma associated with recovery.

The advice I would give new bloggers is to give your fellow bloggers a chance. It is mostly a loving & supportive community. Be supportive to others as well as writing your own posts. Take the time to acknowledge what others have written and leave comments when you can. Friendships can be formed through the blogging world and healing is a huge part of it for those with mental illness.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers:

https://dbestmentalhealthblog.wordpress.com/

https://justbreathe826.wordpress.com/

https://thesecretdance.wordpress.com/

https://outloudkaren.com/

They have all had struggles with mental health, so as a mental health advocate I would like to give them the attention they deserve.

Love Athina ♥

 

 

 

Parental narcissism-Maternal narcissism is the deepest wound

The bond between a mother and her child is such a special one, that people wonder how it is possible for a mother to be abusive towards her child.How can a mother want her child to suffer? How can a mother feel so envious of her daughter’s happiness, that she tries to sabotage it? How can a mother dismiss her child’s successes? This is something that unfortunately happens all the time and more and more survivors of maternal narcissistic abuse are coming to terms with the reality of who their mother really was and unfortunately still is.

In this video, I go through the traits of a narcissistic mother which are identified in a very useful book written by Karyl McBride, a renowned psychologist who has extensively researched narcissistic abuse.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Believe in your ability to heal & thrive!

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Healing is possible..Having better mental health is possible..I am living proof..Years ago I was struggling so much with everything from anxiety, depression, flashbacks, constantly being triggered, feeling extremely worthless, unloved and found it very hard to trust people..I couldn’t even relax in my marriage, even though my husband is the most caring and loving person I have ever met..

Having 2 parents that are abusive and no other healthy role-models to turn to, means that you grow up without that feeling of safety & love that most people experience..

I have made huge leaps in my recovery and so can you!

I will always have Complex PTSD, as my brain was ultimately ”damaged” with the constant stress of the first 30 years of my life..Now I am 34 and I feel much more stable..

Where are you on your recovery journey? Do you feel hopeful? or does everything feel hopeless?

I am hoping that this post will give you hope!

Love Athina ❤

Behind the mask

 

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How do you find your deepest reality,

so buried inside the walls of your ignorance?

You fight so hard to run, to hide,

to quench your thirst, you cover your eyes.

How do you create such chaotic confusion?

You change masks like an expert performer,

your audience fooled by your perfect demeanour.

Behind the veil of your fake vulnerability,

there is silent suffering

from your relentless hoovering..

The kindest souls

play your gruelling game.

Hope & denial makes them keen to play,

desperation for love makes them easy prey.

But how do you deal with an end to your game?

When players become warriors

and they escape all the blame?

Your emptiness guides you

to others’ despair,

you soon find new sources

to fool & ensnare..

 

 

 

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